What are you Reading?

What Are You Reading

I have finally cut down on my books that I am currently reading. Thank goodness. This week I am down to 4, but one is an audio book.

Solarversia by Toby Downton

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Small Favor by Jim Butcher

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As much as I love the Dresden files this book keeps taking a back seat to all the other books and I need to stop doing that.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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I have been so excited about this book. I couldn’t hold back any longer. I actually searched through my TBR jar just to find this one. So many people have said wonderful things about it. I had to read it now. Also, OMG the cover is amazing!

And lastly, the audio book I have been listening to all month

Talon by Julie Kagawa

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That is all I have on my plate this week and I am hoping to get them all out of the way this week. It may not happen, but I will try!

What are you reading?

Toodles

Featured Image -- 1911

Book Review: Normal

Heather M.:

My latest review over at The Reading Bud. :)

Originally posted on The Reading Bud:

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Author: Danielle Pearl
Release Date: August 11th, 2014
Series: Something More
Genre: New Adult | Romance | Contemporary
Edition: Mobi
Pages: 445
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

It’s the kind of situation most people would dread. Starting at a new high school, in the middle of my senior year, in a new town, in a new state. I know no one. No one knows me. That’s what I’m counting on.

A year ago, Aurora “Rory” Pine was just a normal teenage girl – just as sweet and naive as the fairy tale princess she was named after.

But this isn’t a year ago.

Rory is broken, and now suffering from a debilitating anxiety disorder, wrought with precarious triggers, she moves across the country to escape the source of her troubles. Her plan is anonymity, but that’s easier said…

View original 983 more words

Fitness Sunday: Week 21

Fitness Sunday

I gained some weight…but I lost it. I have been up and down lately. I completely failed at not eating bread or sweets. But I am working on all of this. I actually feel like I am slowly getting to where I need to be in my fitness.

Every night this week I have done my challenge. This is the one I am doing:

30 Day Ab and Squat Challenge Workout Chart This site has some good how tos on basic exercises that are often done wrong

Right now I am on day 13. I am also doing a push up challenge.

This 30 day easy push up workout challenge has been designed as a great way to learn how to do simple press ups. The routine starts off at just 3 push ups on ...

I went with the easy challenge because I am not very good at push ups!

Sadly, this is all I have done this week. I haven’t done any other work outs and I am trying to decide if this is enough for now. Or maybe I need to pick it up.

My ankle has been super painful this week, so I haven’t really wanted to do much other than sit and prop my ankle. I haven’t been drinking enough water and I know that is the true issue with my ankle.

This week I am considering doing a 1000 calorie diet, just to see if I can and if it will help any. If I can do it without starving and it helps, I may just do that until my vacation/birthday. Just to see where I am once that rolls around. Simply put, I have been slacking and still have my first 20 pounds to lose.

Starting tomorrow I am going to be a very hardcore diet. Not really a diet…just cutting out all the junk food and eating more healthy foods. I need to step up my game and get serious about weight loss. I have this image of what I want to be and I won’t get there by sitting at my computer playing games all day. I need to find a balance and I need to actually put forth the effort.

Toodles

500 Writing Prompts

As much as I love Pin-it Saturday, I have found myself getting a little bored with it. So, since I bought this nifty new book I thought I would share a writing prompt every other week. It’s not like the writing prompts that I use for my short stories. It’s more of a personal kind of writing prompt, the kind that you would be given in school.

500 writing prompts

They are all fun and encourage a little deeper thinking. Unlike my writing prompts that I use for short stories, my mind isn’t instantly filled with what I could write. I may have a hard time writing down things about myself. lol

Moving on. I choose one for today that I though would be a little funny.

“What is the funniest prank you have ever played on someone? If you haven’t, then design a prank that would make you laugh non-stop.”

Okay, this is kind of mean, but I still get into fits of laughter when I think about it. When I was younger, about 14 I think, I asked my brother to help me with something. I had a sleeping bag, and I needed to roll it up.

So, being the awesome, trusting, brother that he is, my brother came to help. I told him to stand on the end of the sleeping bag so I could roll it up tighter. I started rolling, the stopped and yanked the sleeping bag out from under him.

Now, you know that most sleeping bags are silky and very slippery. When I yanked the sleeping bag out from under him, it caused my brothers feet to fly up over his head and he landed on his butt.

I was laughing so hard and my mom, who tried so hard not to, was laughing too. My brother on the other hand, had this little crushed look in his eyes. I had betrayed his trust in me. But it was so worth the laugh.

Even to this day I can’t tell the story without laughing. I am so terribly sorry, little brother!

I’m not a prankster and I don’t like setting up pranks. This was probably the only good one I have ever done. The rest of my pranks are jumping out at people when they least expect it.

Let’s here your story!

Toodles

Author Interview: Andrew Rowe

I realize that this is a little later than I usually have the author interviews, but I am still trying to figure this whole thing out. Lucky for me I have worked with some awesome, understanding, and pleasant authors.

Another thank you to Andrew Rowe for allowing me to pick his brain!

AndrewRowe

You can find my review of his novel HERE.

Authorinterview

  1. What inspired your novel?

As a role-playing game designer, I’ve worked on a variety of different settings over the years. The world that Forging Divinity takes place in was developed for one of my pen and paper role-playing game campaigns, and I’ve built on it gradually over the course of many years.

This specific story started off in a somewhat strange place – I wanted to write a fantasy novel with a hero confronting progressively stronger opposition, similar to a shonen anime or Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Throughout the process of writing it, the story shifted significantly, although Taelien’s chapters retain some of the combat-focused design from the original concept.

  1. The names of your character are so unique. How did you find names for them?

My starting point for my names was making sure that they’re familiar enough to be pronounceable, but interesting enough to be memorable. Many of the names relate to other elements within the setting and share linguistic characteristics. For example, astute readers have noted that I use several names for people and objects that have a single letter followed by “ae” as a prefix. (Taelien, Sae’kes, Vae’kes etc.)

These items and characters with similar naming conventions share characteristics that will be revealed as the reader learns more about the languages used in the story. (Much of which will happen in future novels.)

  1. What author/authors inspire your writing?

The most obvious is Brandon Sanderson, since he’s popularized the idea of magical systems that have clear rules and limitations. I’ve always enjoyed similar systems and seeing Brandon’s success helped me realize that writing one within a novel was a viable option.

I thoroughly enjoy the complex and morally gray characters in George R.R. Martin’s works, as well as authors like Joe Abercrombie and Django Wexler.

Patrick Rothfuss and Scott Lynch inspire a lot of my interest in more roguish characters, and I’d say that they had some degree of influence on how I write Jonan’s chapters.

Finally, Will Wight is fantastic at combat scenes and his writing (as well as Sanderson’s) helped influence how I depict combat.

  1. How do you deal with writers block or lack of inspiration?

That’s a tough one. I try to set aside a block of time every week to write – typically Sunday – and work on something even if I’m not exactly in the mood. If I can’t find the inspiration to write prose, I’ll try to do something related, like working on an outline, research, or rereading my earlier chapters.

I also often listen to music for inspiration. In particular, I enjoy listening to remixes of older game music and anime themes.

  1. What made you decide to self-publish as opposed to traditional publishing?

First, I wanted to ensure that I had complete control over my intellectual property.

I also wanted to have the opportunity to prove the viability of my work without an outside publisher pushing it from a marketing standpoint. If I can show that I can sell thousands of copies on my own, theoretically it should make my book more likely to be picked up for a better deal if I decide I want to go to a publisher directly in the future.

I also retain more creative control over other elements, such as the cover. I was able to approach the artist I wanted directly, and as a result I believe I found the best artist possible for matching the style that I wanted.

Finally, I retain a much larger percentage of book profits this way, so if the book ends up being a huge success I’ll be able to retain a significant percentage of the net gains.

  1. Would you ever want to be published traditionally?

I’d definitely consider it, but it would depend on the terms of the deal. It’d be nice to get copies directly into bookstores, and extra marketing would be useful, but self-publishing definitely has advantages.

  1. When did you start writing? What sparked your interest?

I’ve been writing little things here and there since childhood. As a kid, my heroes were always adventurers – often the green tunic wearing ones, like Peter Pan, Robin Hood, and Link.

I remember writing my first little stories about characters of my own creation during elementary school, right around the time I started reading Dragons of Autumn Twilight, the first book in the Dragonlance series. I was already playing Dungeons and Dragons at that point, both in pen and paper and CRPG formats – Pool of Radiance was one of my first PC games. I think Dragonlance and D&D had a huge influence on my early life and my interest in writing.

  1. Would or have you considered venturing into other genres?

Absolutely. One of my earlier attempts at a novel was a comedic deconstruction of the traditional fantasy assassin novel, for example. I’ve also been strongly considering writing a “trapped in a MMORPG” style book, given that I’ve worked on MMORPGs for many years and how much interest there is in that genre with anime, manga, and novels like Log Horizon, Sword Art Online, Overlord, etc.

  1. What is your favorite genre when reading?

Fantasy with well-defined magic systems.

  1. Do you have a favorite author?

Probably Brandon Sanderson at the moment. I also really enjoy Jim Butcher and Steven Brust’s works.

  1. Where do you find it easiest to write? Your favorite spot to shut out the world and step into your stories.

I write in my bedroom with all the doors closed. I often have some music playing – but nothing too distracting.

  1. Do you have a dream office/ writing spot?

I’m pretty happy writing in my bedroom, but I wouldn’t mind having a bigger one someday. =D

  1. If you could co-write with any famous author, who would you pick?

That’s a really tough one. Sanderson would be the most logical choice and he’d be a good pick. I’d also strongly consider Jim Butcher – he’s a fantastic writer and I think he’d be a ton of fun to work with.

  1. Where do you want your writing career to go?

I’d love to build my world into a franchise. Since I work at one of the best RPG developers in the world, it would be my dream to eventually get Obsidian to make a game in my setting.

Eventually, I’d like to be writing closer to full time, although I enjoy working on game design as well. Moving into doing more narrative design work for Obsidian could also be a lot of fun.

  1. When can we expect another novel from you? I am anxiously waiting.

I’m expecting to release the sequel to Forging Divinity, which is tentatively titled Stealing Sorcery, sometime in the winter of this year or early next year.

  1. Your cover art is beautiful. Could you briefly describe the process of finding the right artist and concept for the cover?

Thank you! Initially, I went through books in Barnes and Noble looking for the artists I liked and looking them up online. Once I had found a bunch of them, I also looked for related or similar artists on DeviantArt and similar sites.

Eventually, I stumbled upon the work of Daniel Kamarudin on DeviantArt and I absolutely loved it. I contacted him to see if he was taking commissions and we negotiated out all the details. It was a fantastic experience, and I’m proud to say that I’m working with him again for the second book.

  1. What other hobbies and interest take up your time when you are not writing?

I work in the computer gaming industry, so that takes up a ton of my time, and I also play a lot of computer and video games for fun.

Aside from that, I also enjoy tabletop gaming and live-action role-playing.

I also watch a ton of anime, read a few manga and manhwa here and there, and read a ton of books.

  1. If you could bring one of your characters to reality, who would it be and why?

Probably one of my gods (which one I’d pick would probably be a spoiler), so I could convince him or her to give me super powers. I’m an optimizer – I’d have to pick whatever would get the best results.

  1. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing?

Great question. I’d say that it’s probably that weaknesses and limitations – in characters, magic systems, or items – can be as or more important than strengths.

As a young writer, I just wanted to make everything as powerful and awesome as I could imagine. As I’ve gained experience, I’ve found that writing an underdog character or an item with limitations can make them vastly more interesting, in my opinion. Challenges build character.

  1. Lastly, where you can your readers find you on the internet?

You can find my blog at https://andrewkrowe.wordpress.com/. I also have a Forging Divinity Facebook page and you can find me on Twitter here.

endinterview

If you know of any self-published or even small press authors that would be willing to speak with me, send them my way! If you are a self-published/small press author head on over to my contact page and send me an e-mail. Maybe you can be my next featured author!

Toodles

Writing Prompt 5-4: A Friend in the Mirror

July Prompt Challenge

It’s already time for the last prompt of this month! I may give you a treat and do one more, since there is on more Wednesday this month, but I haven’t decided yet. You will just have to wait and see.

July Prompt

5 Nerd Girl Rating

5-4 A Friend in the Mirror

I was 10 when I heard it the first time. I was so terrified that I didn’t sleep in my room for a week. My mother kept insisting that I was hearing things, nothing was knocking on my mirror. She even slept in the room with me one night and we heard a knock, but it came from the window. My mother laughed and told me I was being a silly child.

I didn’t hear it again until I was 16. I was getting ready for my birthday party. I was looking in the mirror when it happened this time. I even saw the mirror distort in the area where the knock sounded from. I ran from my room and went to my party. I wasn’t going to ruin the party my mother had spent so much time and money on. After the party I told her. She simply shook her head and told me I wouldn’t start that again.

It was a year before I heard it again. Another birthday, only, this year was different. My mother passed away only a few months before. I was now living with my grandmother, my dad had died in the war and I was an only child. My grandmother was strict and I didn’t see her much, but it didn’t matter to me. I would be out of her house soon enough. Thanks to my mother’s frugality, I had enough money to go to whatever college I wanted.

I was looking in the mirror again, when I heard the knock once more. My first reaction was to run and tell my mother, but she was no longer there. I couldn’t tell my grandmother, the crazy bat would have sent me away. Thinking back, that probably would have been better anyways. I told my best friend about the knock. She let me stay at her house the following night. I was sure I was safe at her house. At least I thought it was, until the dead of night when a knock came from her mirror.

I sat up in the bed and stared at the mirror, waiting for it to happen again. My friend woke up and stared at me. She asked what I was staring at and I told her of the knock. She laughed, got out of bed, and knocked back. In all the years I had dealt with the knocking I had never thought to knock back. I wasn’t brave enough to knock back. Nothing happened. My friend told me everything was okay and to go back to sleep. She did, I didn’t.

My friend’s steady breathing filled the quiet room. I heard the knock again. It matched the knock my friend had used. Five rapid taps, a pause, and two more. My heart stopped. I threw a blanket over the mirror and went back to sleep.

Another year later, I was getting ready for college. I was finally going to be free from my horrid grandmother. She had made my life a nightmare. I was finally free. I packed what little belonged to me. I wasn’t allowed to bring a lot of things when I moved in with grandmother, just some clothes and very few personal items. I hated her for getting rid of everything that reminded her of my mother. All I had left of my mother’s was a bracelet and a diamond ring. Also, a few picture albums. I looked through them often.

I didn’t live in a dorm. My mother had put back enough money for me to rent an apartment near campus. When she was alive she would tell me of the horrible experience she had from staying in a dorm and never wanted me to go through that as well. I was grateful to have my own place, but it got a little lonely.

A month after moving in, the knock started again. It was the same five rapid taps followed by two more after a short pause. It was almost as if the thing in the mirror had learned a new knock. Being alone, with no one to run to, I knocked back. That was when I realized, there was always something on the other side of the mirror.

I had felt so alone since my mother had passed away. I was excited that I finally had something to talk to, to confide in again. I quickly learned Morse code and the mirror seemed to know it as well. I would sit up for hours every night, speaking to this thing in the mirror. I was so happy to finally have the ability to talk to the thing that had scared me most of my life. When my friend visited me one weekend I wanted to show her.

I knocked on the mirror, to tell the thing hello. And it knocked back. I smiled and looked to my friend. I was afraid the thing in the mirror would be shy and not knock back, but it did.

“Did you hear it?”

“Just you knocking.” My friend said. I looked at her confused. I knocked on the mirror and told the thing in the mirror to say hello again. It did. But my friend shook her head and frowned. “I think you need to see a doctor.”

I shook my head. I didn’t need to see a doctor. She did, she needed to get her ears checked. The knock was as clear as day. That night, while she slept, I spoke to the thing in the mirror. I told it sorry for my friend’s inability to hear. It said it was not worried, that it would always be there for me.

The next morning my friend drove me to a doctor. Soon after, I was put into a mental institution. No one else could hear the knock on the mirror. But true to its word, the thing never left me. It followed me through the facility, knocking jokes to me and telling me I was going to be okay. I was okay, as long as the thing stayed with me. I would only talk to it when no one was around. I wanted to get back to my life, but they wouldn’t let me out.

I stopped talking to the thing. I told it I couldn’t talk right now, because they were not letting me go. I told it I had to stop just until I could get out. I wanted to get back to the normal life my mother had planned for me. I was released a month later and I returned back to school. But the thing stopped talking to me. No matter how hard I tried, it wouldn’t come back. I told it sorry, explained over and over again why I had to ignore it for a while, but it wouldn’t come back. I begged and pleaded, but it wouldn’t come back. I was alone in the world again.

I started losing sleep, I would sit up all night going between rooms with mirrors. Knocking on each mirror as I passed it. I started skipping classes, and a few professors dropped me from their class. Nothing mattered anymore. I just wanted the thing to come back.

It wasn’t long before I was back at the hospital, shouting at all the doctors that they made the thing go away. They sedated me, knocked me out cold. When I woke up I was back in a familiar room. It was the room I had called home for a month, where the thing stopped talking to me. A knock came from the mirror and I smiled. It was back. I knew it would come back. I was never leaving it behind again, never ignoring it again.

____

“Your daughter thinks there is something in the mirror.” The doctor told the girl’s mother. “Has anything happened in her past that may cause her mental state?”

“She saw her father kill himself.” Her mother said, wiping another tear from her eyes.  “What is she saying to the mirrors?”

“Nothing.” The doctor replied. “It’s the same knocks over and over again.”

“She said it was Morse code.”

“It’s non-sense. We sent a recording of her knocks to a specialist. She just knocks random letters. There is no purpose to them.”

“Why would she think I am dead?”

“Because you always told her there was nothing knocking. You were the only thing holding her to the reality of the matter.”

“Will she get better?”

“She has been in here since she was 17, it has been 10 years.” The doctor shook his head. “We don’t know how to reach her. Now she refuses to speak to anyone, just knocking on the mirror all hours of the day.”  She is lost.

Plus Mustache

I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know what you think.

Toodles

Book Review: Forging Divinity by Andrew Rowe

Forging Divinity

Rating

4 Nerd Girl Rating

Author: Andrew Rowe
Release Date: February 13th 2015
Series: The War of Broken Mirrors
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 308
Buy it : Amazon

First Line: Taelien’s jail cell was surprisingly well-furnished.

Synopsis:  Taelien Salaris doesn’t know who his birth parents are. All he knows is that he was brought to his adoptive parents by a man named Erik Tarren and all that he has of his birth parents is a sword.
Tailen makes his way into a town, searching for Tarren and answers to his heritiage. Moments after arriving he is captured and imprisoned for carrying a religious symbol, the sword.
Lydia Hastings, a court sorceress, has heard of the prisoner. She was sent to inspect the sword but had other plans. She helps Taelien escape from his cell, but is she helping him, or capturing him for herself?
Taelien looks like the lost leader of Lydia’s religion and she sets out to find out if it is him. Together, they also uncover a man who claims to be a god, but may be doing so at the expense of many lives.

Review:
I enjoyed this book. It was a nice change from most of the books about magic I have read. The magic powers had limitations and drained the user, unlike other stories where magic is just thrown around at random.

I will admit, the first chapter was exciting and reeled me in. But then the action slowed down a little and I lost a little interest. It eventually picks back up about half way through and I am glad that I stuck around. I think my biggest problem is that I felt a little lost through most of the book. There is a lot of information thrown into this book, which makes sense as it is the first in a series. It was a little harder to follow with so many different and unique names, and trying to grasp who was who and who did what.

With that being said, I still rather enjoyed the novel and I will for sure be anxiously awaiting the next book. The book ended with some questions left unanswered, but it felt like a complete story and it didn’t make me mad when it came to an end.

Conclusion: If you like magic, battles, talks of gods and goddess, and a plot to over throw a queen, I think you will enjoy this book. Should you try it and find that a few chapters lose you, just keep trucking through. In the end you will understand things and it’s a good story.

Also, it’s very well edited and that is saying a lot with the growing numbers of self-published authors. You can tell that the author put a lot of work into this novel and it is worth the time to read it.

Toodles

What are You Reading?

What Are You Reading

Hello Nerds!

Finally moving along with my reading. But I have so much to read. I haven’t been giving enough time for reading, I need to fix this! And more stuff coming in weekly. Not just the books I buy, it seems my name is getting out there and self-published and small press authors are seeking me out for reviews. I’m so excited!

Moving on to my list this week.

I’m reading a new one called Solarversia by Toby Downton. It’s not actually out for the public, but the author contacted me on twitter after I made a comment about Ready Player One. :)

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So far the concept is very intriguing and I can’t wait to read more.

Last night I read Delilah Dusticle by A.J. York

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Very cute book. You can catch my review over at TRB when it is published there. But I enjoyed the story! And now I am reading the second novel called Delilah Dusticle’s Transylvanian Adventure.

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I am still reading An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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I have only been reading this on my breaks at work. But it has gotten so good that I may have to sit down on my next day off and finish it.

Of course I am still working on Small Favor by Jim Butcher

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And Talon by Julie Kagawa

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Tell me, what are you reading this week?

Toodles

Fitness Sunday: Week 20

Fitness Sunday

Hello Nerds!

I am disappointed in myself more than anything. I have let myself down. I started a challenge Tuesday and have already missed two days of the challenge. Instead of going back, I am just picking it up the following day. So instead of slowly working my way up to 70 or so squats, I am jumping around.

I am going to crack down on myself this week. And the next. Until my birthday. Until I leave for the beach I am cutting out sweets, bread, and anything that I know is not healthy for my body. I will not eat past 8, which is going to be super hard to do seeing as I work at night and don’t get home until 10. If I have to get something after 8 it will be something healthy, like fruits or vegetables. Of course, I have heard that fruits are bad that late at night too. I guess I need to do a little research.

I am only drinking water from now until I go on vacation. I want to see, after cutting all of this out, how much better my body will be. I have 4 weeks before vacation. If I could lose 5 pounds a week, I would be right on schedule for losing the weight I wanted to lose by then. Maybe by cutting out all the junk food I can reach this goal. Fingers crossed.

I just have to keep reminding myself how crappy I feel after I have had something I knew I shouldn’t have. I have to remind myself of the pain in my side I get when I have too much sugar or fried foods. I also have to keep reminding myself how my ankle feels 100 times better when I drink the proper amount of water everyday.

I just have to be better to myself. Losing weight is only partly to look better in my clothes. The biggest focus is being healthy and extending my life. I want to be happy with the way I look AND feel. I have to stop losing focus or shrugging my shoulders when I see something I want. I have to learn to turn away and keep fighting the good fight.

Toodles